The truth lies somewhere in between. Of course we should try to not slow down the flow and help wherever it’s possible – airliners do that as well! – but the # 1 priority for each landing is safety. If it’s unclear to me what they want – i will ask them. And during an IMC approach I will confirm everything they want and deal with it after landing or once I’m VMC.
That is fine if the airport is where they speak good English, so there are no hard and fast rules. Try this at Caglieri LIEE for example Or better still Barcelona…
It’s not my responsibility that the TWR of such an airport speaks English well. In case they don’t/want to understand I will not play their game either and simply make a safe landing.
I had such a case once in Italy (i think it was Brindisi) where it simply was not clear what they want from me because their English was so bad. After the third “Say again, read you one”, they left me alone.
Planning where to vacate is simply good airmanship. Even at say Biggin Hill the controllers expect light aircraft to vacate at A3 which is a very short way down the runway, and will factor this into their sequencing of traffic. Should they not require this they will let you know you can roll to the end.
There is also common sense involved here – instructions tend to be given in clear VMC; in low visibility there will be specific exits (normally at the end) that they require you to use. If they are taking the piss, you can always simply say “unable.”
Once again, it’s a matter of experience and airmanship, and if you’ve thought about it beforehand it should be less of a surprise when given an instruction on final.
Planning where to vacate is simply good airmanship.
I always try to find the most logical taxi route and brief that, but at least half of the time at unfamiliar airport I get something completely different. So very often you simply don’t have the necessary information to make a good guess.
“Fine, but this means that ATC will stop squeezing in SEPs in a tight flow, the slot regime will get worse and we end up waiting more and more. We have to be well prepared and act professionally if we want to be welcome at a big airport.”
@Achima: I did not say that we have to be unprepared. I totally agree with you, we have to be prepared, and we always have to act professionally. But flying professionally means that I have to execute my touchdown within the designated touchdown area and not anywhere else on the RWY if not ATC tells me something different. So in this case – EDDH RWY 15 – it is ATC’s job primarily to propose a long landing for an accelerated traffic flow. Alternatively, the PIC can ask of course for any option, but the PIC’s job is to professionally fly down the aircraft during the approach on the first view, not to grant options to ATC.
Why do we have to fly “professionally” please? Surely that is the prerogative of the professionally trained pilot who is being paid for the job.
If you were to say we must strive to fly “correctly” and/or “properly” that is quite different and not just a question of semantics. I always try and fly as efficiently and as correctly as possible but I do not have the experience or perhaps even the ability to fly professionally.
As far as the big airports are concerned I have always found those outside the UK are most accommodating and very willingly to help if you need any help. Within the UK that sadly does not seem to apply at all airports.
So in this case – EDDH RWY 15 – it is ATC’s job primarily to propose a long landing for an accelerated traffic flow.
Sorry I disagree strongly. You are expected to be well briefed and you should be able to take ATC’s request about the exit into account, find out what it means for the landing, ask if you need further information and try to comply. You can insist as much as you like on your right and your necessities, the result is just that ATC will less often allow you to approach when the spacing it tight.
If you approach Hamburg, you better study the taxiways upfront and make sure you do everything to not interrupt the flow. Ignoring ATC’s request outside of a difficult (IMC) situation just shows that your preparation was sloppy. If you do it like this, you harm GA in general.
“Ignoring ATC’s request outside of a difficult (IMC) situation just shows that your preparation was sloppy.”
IMHO there was no ATC request to make a long landing in that specific case, the only request was to exit via T. And in lieu of any request of that kind of a long landing you are supposed to land within the designated landing area. Full stop. You are doing totally doing wrong and definitely harming GA (and even bring other aircrafts in danger) when landing somewhere at your own convenience, simply anticipating what ATC might expect. If ATC requests you doing a long landing: fine. If not, just do what is proper flying technique. If you want to be proactive: ask what is convenient for ATC and try dealing with it.
Why do we have to fly “professionally” please?
Of course you don’t have to. The problem is only that a small handful of “unprofessional” light GA drivers are enough to get all light GA banned from larger airports. As Achim wrote, this has happened already at places like Frankfurt and Munich (hard to believe, but around 1990 I was allowed to some of my night patterns in a C182 in Frankfurt – nobody has done that ever since). At my home base, where usually light types and airline traffic mix quite harmonically, I have witnessed quite a few airliner go-arounds due to piston singles not vacating the runway in time that prompted angry radio calls like “It’s about time to get rid of these puddle-jumpers here!” The day Lufthansa or BA officially complain about too many go-arounds (each costing them a four-figure sum) will be the end of light GA at this airport.
Therefore once again: When mixing with the big stuff, you don’t have to fly professionally. But I don’t think that it means asking too much of an amateur to prepare himself sufficiently not to cause risk or undue delay to his fellow aviators.